“Better Than Rubin” – 12 Things You Don’t Know About Tim Geithner

Noam Scheiber’s piece in The New Republic, The Escape Artist: How Timothy Geithner survived, is a good read and very informative.  If you have a few minutes have a look.   Here are 12 points we found interesting about our SecTreas:

1)  Geithner..[was]…class president during his senior year of high school. “That was my last experience as a politician”

2)  Geithner spent his high school years in Thailand, where his father held another senior position with the Ford Foundation.

3)  In 1988, after graduate school and a brief stint at Kissinger Associates, he joined Treasury as a junior trade official.

4)  Geithner played a key role in persuading the Japanese to increase their financial contribution to the first Gulf war, part of a U.S. government effort dubbed “Operation Tin Cup.”

5)  Geithner caught the attention of another prominent patron—Larry Summers—whom Bill Clinton had appointed as his treasury undersecretary.

6)  When the Clinton administration ended, Geithner …eventually accepted a job as the head of policy development for the IMF, essentially the organization’s third-ranking position.

7)  Geithner [is] scrupulously attuned to the temperament of the boss. Like Obama, he evinced a strong aversion to blather. During meetings with the president, he would say little, and usually not until the end, when his opinion was solicited.

8)  He’d often joke that, if you wanted to get Summers to embrace an idea, you had to adopt its opposite, which Summers would then shoot down.

9)  As treasury secretary…[initial]… refusal to think of himself as a public figure was proving extremely [politically] damaging.

10) Volcker told the president he approved of Geithner’s plan but also wanted to stop government-backed banks from making risky bets for their own bottom line—in effect, from acting like taxpayer-subsidized hedge funds.

11) According to people familiar with the decision, Summers was upset, believing it impossible to draw a line between the banks’ proprietary trading and trades that benefited clients, which would render the proposal unenforceable.

12) Before leaving to run for mayor of Chicago, Emanuel had taken to uttering the phrase “better than Rubin” in connection with Geithner’s name.

This entry was posted in Economics, Policy, Politics and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.